Malaysia departures remain sluggish even after resumption of labour migrationOnly 2,217 labour permits have been issued for Malaysia in two weeks.
After nearly a 16-month halt to labour migration to Malaysia, the government on September 15 allowed Nepali migrant workers to take up jobs in Malaysia. The ban on new hiring of Nepali workers was finally lifted after Nepal and Malaysia agreed to implement the bilateral labour agreement signed last October.
However, departures for Malaysia, one of the most popular labour destinations among Nepalis, has remained slow.
According to Suresh Joshi, director at the Foreign Employment Office, Tahachal, the flow of Nepali workers to Malaysia has remained sluggish even after the ban was revoked.
“Few workers are leaving for Malaysia although the office immediately started issuing labour permits to Malaysia-bound workers following the government decision,” Joshi told the Post. “The office is currently issuing around 100-200 labour permits for Malaysia every day.”
Since the announcement, a total of 2,217 Nepalis—2,167 men and 50 women—have received labour permits from the Tahachal office under the Department of Foreign Employment.
As one of the most preferred labour destinations before the government imposed the ban in May 2018 following a crackdown on illegal syndicates, more than 10,000 Nepalis reached to Malaysia every month.
Following the action against the pre-departure service provider agencies, new labour permits for Malaysia were stopped. During the suspension period, labour permits were issued to those workers who were returning to their jobs and those holding a calling visa. Last fiscal year, only 42,146 Nepali workers left for work in Malaysia, showing a massive drop in the number of Nepalis taking up jobs in the South East Asian country.
The slow rate in the number of Nepali workers migrating to Malaysia has been attributed to a long process before receiving the final work-permit from the department.
“Workers with calling visa are leaving. Likewise, workers going on the demand letter already obtained by recruiting agencies are also coming for final labour permit,” said Joshi. “Departure of Nepali workers under new demands will still take some time.”
The recruiting agencies—hiring and supplying workers for foreign employers—should first get their workers’ demand letter verified by the Nepali missions abroad. Based on the attestation by the foreign missions, the department again verifies and issues pre-permission to aspirant recruiting agencies which then start hiring workers by announcing vacancies.
“Recruiting agencies which have got their pre-demand letters approved have started supplying workers. Others have to complete all the process before they can supply workers which takes time,” said Joshi. “The upcoming festive season can also be another reason in fewer people migrating to Malaysia.”